Lakers making progress toward trade for Pelicans star Davis

Pelicans star Anthony Davis requested a trade this past season and is eligible for free agency in 2020.

The Los Angeles Lakers are progressing toward a multi-team trade that would send New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis to LA, Ian Begley of reported, citing a league source.

Davis requested a trade in January and the Lakers and Pelicans have been in touch most weeks since, though the sides could not reach a deal by the February deadline.

Free to negotiate again, the Lakers are now being run by a team that includes senior advisor Kurt Rambis and general manager Rob Pelinka, with David Griffin now serving as chief of basketball operations for the Pelicans.

Davis will become a free agent in July 2020 and has reportedly made it clear that the Lakers or New York Knicks are his preferred destinations. He is represented by agent Rich Paul, who also represents Lakers star LeBron James. It is believed that Paul and James were behind convincing Davis to try to join the Lakers.

“ESPN reported on Tuesday that the Lakers are the ‘leader in the clubhouse’ for a potential Davis trade,” Begley reported. “One league source said Tuesday that Los Angeles had made progress towards completing a multi-team deal.”

ESPN also recently reported the Pelicans will likely need multiple teams to acquire the type of return they are seeking for Davis, that neither the Lakers nor Knicks alone possess the type of assets on the Pelicans’ radar.

Meanwhile, Begley reported the Knicks may be backing out of the Davis sweepstakes.

“Some Knicks decision makers have been adamant about not giving up a ton of significant assets — young players or draft picks — in a Davis trade,” Begley wrote. “Some in the organization are wary of giving up too many young assets or picks for Davis, citing the way things played out for New York in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade, per sources.”

It is believed that Davis will not sign extension regardless of where he is traded next, and will instead see how thing play out before hitting free agency.